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Rochester, NY

New York Governor Cancels Interview with Rochester Station


WHAM, the ABC affiliate for Rochester, NY, said a Wednesday interview with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was canceled after the station said it didn’t want to limit the interview to questions about his new book, All Things Possible.

“Nobody was interested in just doing a story about his book,” Brian Houseman, WHAM assignment manager, said in a story the station did about the interview.

After one book related question, the publisher said 13WHAM would be free to use the remainder of the four minute time slot to ask about other topics. “Hydrofracking, we wanted to talk about the Marsh Road Bridge, the governor’s race,” Houseman said, “so we wanted to get him on that.”

Then, a member of the governor’s campaign staff called to ask us to limit our interview to questions only regarding the book.

13WHAM News refused multiple times and the interview was subsequently cancelled. Cuomo’s interviews with other stations across New York went ahead as scheduled. Read more

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State Senate Race Features ‘Battle of the News Anchors’

News anchors are used to going head-to-head, but usually they’re after viewers, not voters. In Rochester, a state Senate district race has become “a battle of the news anchors,” with former WHEC anchor Rich Funke, a Republican, running against incumbent Sen. Ted O’Brien.

O’Brien, meanwhile, has released a campaign video featuring another longtime local anchor, in a race that’s pitting newser against newser, as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle explains:

Longtime R News (now Time Warner Cable News) anchor Diana Palotas appears in a new, minute-long video released Monday by O’Brien’s campaign, touting the Democrat’s work in clearing up a neighborhood dispute over trash dumping while criticizing Funke’s views on abortion.

Palotas was a reporter and anchor for R News from when it launched in 1990 until she left in 2009.

“Like Ted O’Brien’s opponent, Rich Funke, I was a television news anchor for many decades,” Palotas says in the video. “When it comes to getting real results, Ted O’Brien is the only state senate candidate who will stand up for our families. We turned to Ted when the owner of a house in our neighborhood thought he could dump garbage from his other properties right next to our homes. Ted took action immediately and the junk was gone within days.”

Funke, meanwhile, rolled out a video late last month from another former Rochester television reporter: Robin DeWind, his former colleague at WHEC.

Looks Like Rochester Anchor Covering Super Bowl Will Be ‘Live’ All Day

 We reported earlier this week John Kucko, sports anchor for Rochester CBS station WROC, is using Google Glass to give a POV look into what’s happening during Super Bowl week.

This morning an ESPN & ABC business reporter tweeted out a picture giving a pretty good indication WROC and its parent company Nexstar are getting their money’s worth out of Kucko.

WROC Taking Google Glass to the Super Bowl

forbes_kucko_wrocRochester CBS affiliate WROC will be using the Super Bowl to marry two great male stereotypes: a love of sports events that involve eating and technology.

Forbes reports sports anchor John Kucko will be using Google Glass to “broadcast the unique sights and sounds of the week-long festivities leading up to the big game.”

“Google Glass will provide viewers with a perspective of the greatest spectacle in sports that they have never seen or experienced before,” Kucko told Forbes. “To have this first person technology will be invaluable in my day-to-day coverage of football’s grandest game.

Google Glass has certainly turned heads and provoked raves and rants. But the prospect of another point of view will add to the color of the broadcast and the final call will rest with the true experts sitting on their couches and enjoying the game.  Glass expert Tim Moore,  a member of the Rochester Optical Glass team has been working with Kucko to maximize the experience.

“It’s time people see the positive aspects of Google Glass and there couldn’t be a larger public stage to do that on than the SuperBowl. John Kucko is taking us on a true adventure.  It’s like putting on a football helmet in your living room and experiencing the game in a way that, until recently, was unimaginable.” – Tim Moore

Kucko posted a test of the gear to YouTube, check it out after the jump. Read more

Rochester Station Shifting Main Anchor Team to Sunday Nights

wroc_anchorteam_croppedRochester’s WROC has changed how it looks at the weekly programming schedule.

According to The Democrat and Chronicle, the CBS affiliate said it’s shifting its main anchor team from the usual Monday to Friday schedule to Sunday through Thursday in hopes of taking advantage of the big numbers CBS sees on Sunday nights.

“More people watch TV on Sunday evening than any other night of the week,” said managing editor and anchor Kevin Doran in a statement. “It is our responsibility to present the news when viewers want to see it.”

Doran and Maureen McGuire will continue to anchor along with chief meteorologist Scott Hetsko and sports director John Kucko.

Friday night’s news will be anchored by Ashley Zilka with meteorologist Stacey Pensgen and sports anchor Thad Brown.

Evan Dawson Leaves WHAM for Radio Job, Takes ‘User’s Guide’ With Him

wham_dawson_ggodbyeWHAM anchor and reporter Evan Dawson is jumping to radio for his own talk show on public radio station WXXI beginning Monday.

Dawson, who anchored for the Rochester ABC affiliate for six years, will host “Connections with Evan Dawson” on WXXI from Noon to 2:00 p.m. weekdays.

Dawson’s WHAM colleagues Norma Holland and Jennifer Johnson put together a user’s manual of sorts for Dawson’s radio colleagues.

1. Do not be alarmed by the roof-rattling, throat-clearing sounds he makes in the morning. It will happen often and, yes, you will be shocked every time you hear it.
2. His ‘five o’clock shadow’ takes only minutes to appear. You can almost see his beard grow.
3. Pay attention to his socks. They are more fun than you’d expect. Read more

Christopher Ford Named WHEC News Director

ford_croppedChristopher Ford has been named news director for Rochester, NY, NBC affiliate WHEC.

“I am very excited to have Chris join our team,” Derek Dalton, WHEC vice president and general manager said in a statement. “His investigative background and passion to serve will be a real asset to our newsroom and our Rochester community.”

Dalton told TVSpy, Ford will start at WHEC in mid-January.

Before coming to WHEC, Ford was assistant news director at WTSP in Tampa, FL. He has also worked at WTMJ in Milwaukee and CLTV the 24-hour Chicago cable network.

[Rochester Business Journal]

WROC Promotes Executive Producer to News Director

wroc_logoThe Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports Nexstar has named Constance Howard news director for Rochester, NY, CBS affiliate WROC.

“It’s a great honor. I’m excited about it,” Howard told the Democrat and Chronicle. “I’m excited that Nexstar (Broadcasting Group) believed in my abilities enough to give me this assignment.”

Howard had been the station’s executive producer since August 2012. She has served as news director in Baltimore, Birmingham, AL, and Raleigh, NC, and has either served as an executive producer or assistant news director in New York City, Dallas and Pittsburgh. She was also a reporter for WROC in the late 1970s.

Sinclair’s Rochester FOX Station to Swap Newscasts

wuhf_304Beginning January 1, viewers of Sinclair owned FOX affiliate WUHF will be watching a different newscast than the one they’ve watched for the last eight years.

Because of Sinclair’s purchase of ABC affiliate WHAM in December 2012 and the expiration of a shared services agreement between WUHF and CBS affiliate WROC viewers will see a WHAM produced newscast on the FOX affiliate instead of the one produced by Nexstar owned WROC.

Currently, WHAM produces a 10:00 p.m. news and a morning show for the Rochester digital CW affiliate. The plan is to have those shows move to FOX. The 10:00 p.m. news will be retitled, “13 WHAM News at 10 on FOX Rochester.” The morning show will be called “Good Day Rochester.”

“We have the No. 1 news broadcast news brand in the market … and we’re going to continue to do that brand on Fox,” WHAM general manager Chuck Samuels told Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle. “We’re not going to pretend we’re something else. Everyone’s going to know it’s 13 WHAM’s production.” Read more

Scott Kilbury Moving from Arizona to New York

Scott Kilbury will be joining Rochester, NY, NBC affiliate WHEC as news anchor.

KOLD vice president and general manager Debbie Bush told TVSpy Kilbury’s last day with Tucson’s KOLD (CBS) and KMSB (FOX) was Tuesday.

“I would call Tucson home, but the irony is that from age 10-15 I lived in upstate New York,” Kilbury told the Tucson Weekly. “I’m talking to the news director and he’s telling me my mom taught at the same middle school he went to in Utica. There are all these weird connections. For the kids this is the perfect fit. But I’m going to really miss the great people in this community for all their love and support.”

Kilbury worked at KOLD for 12 years. In 2008, he made the switch from sports director to news anchor. He started his career at KPAX in Missoula, MT, and has worked at KOLN in Lincoln, NE. Read more

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